Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Current Arabic web polls

One of my goals is to give you a decent sense of what folks in the Arab world are feeling. There's no perfect way to do that, it'll just be snippets. An article, some musings on what I'm seeing and hearing, a poll, some pictures, a link to another blog, etc. Hopefully they'll help you. Right now there's obviously a lot of anger in the Arab world. Unfortunately that plays into a lot of stereotypes, but there's no getting around it right now, people are angry the way we were angry after 9/11 (I may end up overusing that example, it's one of the few I've found that seems to really make the point to Americans who don't quite get what all the fuss is about).

So, here's a few web polls that are out there right now as an example. They're not scientific obviously and reflect a skewed sampling population made up of the frequently like-minded people who visit the various websites, but they still tell us some important nuggets of information, especially those from popular websites like aljazeera.net. Frequently you'll get overwhelmingly lopsided responses. Those say something, but the more interesting ones are where there are split answers coming out of what is a presumably homogenous readership.

AlJazeera's website like the TV channel seems to attract a broad audience with a heavy Arab Nationalist and moderate Islamist stance. The current AlJazeera.net poll question is - "After the Qana Massacre do you support:"

A revengeful response from Hizbullah - 101,141 votes - 86.9%
A ceasefire - 15,284 votes - 13.1%

The AlArabiya.net website like the TV station is Saudi-owned, and like it's older newspaper cousins Al-Hayat and Ash-Sharaq Al-Awsat has decent standards but clearly reflects and sometimes pushes hard the Saudi official line. When these guys get bolder you can tell something is either pulling or pushing the Saudis out of their typical slumber. The current poll question is - "The direct effect of the second Qana Massacre will be:"

The publication of an international decision for an immediate ceasefire - 12.47%
The submission of the Lebanese side to Israeli demands - 3.68%
The continuation of the war with American support for Israel - 83.85%
Total voters - 9,894

Just a couple of brief notes, more in the future.


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